Sources: The Associated Press, Reuters, BBC, Times reporting
August 2, 2006
Lebanon: Israeli infantry, armor and paratroopers attack along a 25-mile stretch of the border area, the widest front since fighting started three weeks ago. Some ground elements advance past the Litani River, reaching the outer edge of a buffer zone Israel controlled before it withdrew from Lebanon in 2000. Israeli airstrikes target rocket launchers and other weapons, as well as the Qaa-Homs road to Syria. Israel says it captured several Hezbollah militants in an operation near Baalbek, near the Syrian border.
Looking ahead: Israel says it will resume a full schedule of air attacks as its 48-hour partial suspension ends early today. Vice Premier Shimon Peres says the campaign against Hezbollah may last weeks, despite calls for an immediate cease-fire. The Israeli army warns Lebanese living immediately north of the Litani River to leave.
Israel: Hezbollah fires 10 rockets and four mortar shells into northern Israel in another comparatively light day of attacks. Unlike 1982, when Israel's invasion of Lebanon sparked widespread demonstrations, the current fighting seems to have the support of Israeli civilians. A poll released Tuesday shows 80% support the way the military is conducting the fighting; 74% give Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his government high marks.
Diplomacy: An aide to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says Egypt has resumed its mediation effort between Israel and Hamas. An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman says he cannot confirm that, and a Hamas spokesman denies that the talks are taking place. U.N. officials say nations willing to contribute troops to a peacekeeping force in Lebanon will meet Thursday.
Humanitarian concerns: Convoys seeking to reach southern Lebanon are stuck in Beirut, unable to deliver aid because of battle-damaged roads, traffic jams and the lack of security. Some aid has been reaching the country, however, through the Beirut airport, the port of Tyre and overland from Syria. Israel lifts its blockade of Lebanese ports, permitting tankers to deliver oil for power plants. Syria agrees to supply gasoline to Lebanon to compensate for wartime shortages.